Archive | August, 2013

Marriage of Anderson

Marriage of Anderson, 2013 MT 238 (Aug. 20, 2013) (5-0) (Morris, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Viola’s Rule 59(e) and 60(b) motions, and (2) whether the district court abused its discretion in determining that the property settlement agreement was valid without a disclosure of assets.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) no.

Affirmed

Livingston v. Park Conservation District

Livingston v. Park Conservation District, 2013 MT 234 (Aug. 20, 2013) (5-0) (McGrath, C.J.)

Issue: Whether the district court erred in upholding the conservation district’s decision that a certain channel adjacent to the Yellowstone River is part of the natural watercourse of the river, subject to the Natural Streambed and Land Preservation Act, § 75-7-101, MCA.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Allen v. Lakeside Neighborhood Planning Committee

Allen v. Lakeside Neighborhood Planning Committee, 2013 MT 237 (Aug. 20. 2013) (5-0) (Cotter, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred when it declined to void the 2010 Lakeside Neighborhood Plan and determined that Plaintiffs could obtain no relief on their claims for violations of Montana’s open meeting laws; and (2) whether the district court erred in determining that a public meeting could not be held via a Yahoo email group.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) no.

Affirmed

Kananen v. South

Kananen v. South, 2013 MT 232 (Aug. 20, 2013) (5-0) (Wheat, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly dismissed Kananen’s fraud claim on the basis of the statute of limitations; (2) whether the district court erred by not conducting a hearing on the motion to dismiss; and (3) whether the district court properly awarded attorney fees and costs.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) no; and (3) no. The award of attorney fees and costs under § 40-4-110, MCA, is reversed.

Affirmed and reversed

Estate of Bennett

Estate of Bennett, 2013 MT 230 (Aug. 20, 2013) (7-0) (Rice, J.)

Issue: Whether the Court should issue a writ of supervisory control over the lower court’s order holding that the Bennetts are not entitled to damages from the wrongful death of their adult son.

Short Answer: Yes. Wrongful death damages are personal to the survivors, and are not controlled by intestate succession statutes.

Writ granted

State v. Rogers

State v. Rogers, 2013 MT 221 (Aug. 13, 2013) (7-0) (Baker, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court violated Rogers’ constitutional rights by requiring him to testify to his defense of justifiable use of force prior to cross-examining the victim about her prior acts of violence against him, and (2) whether the district court erred by allowing the state to question Rogers about his prior criminal history once he testified about the victim’s prior acts of violence against him.

Short Answer: (1) No, as Rogers failed to preserve this issue for appeal, and (2) yes, this trial error was not harmless.

Reversed & remanded for a new trial

Puskas v. Pine Hills

Puskas v. Pine Hills, 2013 MT 223 (Aug. 13, 2013) (5-0) (Morris, J.)

Issue: (1) Whether substantial credible evidence supports the district court’s determination that Pine Hills held open an offer for Puskas to transfer units from June 2009 until Puskas quit in 2010; (2) whether the district court correctly determined that Pine Hills reasonably and promptly offered a solution to end AH’s harassment of Puskas; and (3) whether the district court correctly dismissed Puskas’ retaliation claim.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) yes; and (3) yes.

Affirmed